This Disturbing Tha Peace rookie knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. Ludacris’ new protégé, Shareefa, is getting some serious airplay right now and her demanding vocals are becoming more familiar, preparing us for her debut album, Point of No Return. Focus is key for this determined artist, as she gains industry wisdom from her mighty mentors. By now, her fans know what she looks for in a man, but they yearn for a look behind the scenes. Shareefa lives for today, but plans for tomorrow, sharing her thoughts on her budding career and what it takes to build success.
What’s your definition of a “Boss”Â?
It’s somebody that’s working just as hard as I am, no matter what he’s doing. It’s someone that’s focused and knows what he wants out of life.
What’s your favorite part about working with Ludacris?
He’s like a brother, so that makes it easier. I met him backstage at “TRL”Â about two years ago when I first got my deal. It was smooth sailing since then. He welcomed me with open arms. He made me feel extra comfortable so I love that. I was born for [the music industry] but he made things a lot easier.
When did you start singing?
Ever since I was little I always used to sing in front of the camera, being silly—always had the drama… Lip-synchin’ songs and all that.
Who is your dream collaborator?
Lauryn Hill. I just admire her as a singer as well as the fact that our voices are similar.
If you were a drink, what would you be?
I would be a Strawberry Daiquiri ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“cause it sneaks up on you real smooth and real mellow [laughs]. That’s what the boss is doing—slowly plotting.
How do you feel about the Southern influence on hip-hop right now? Is it a trend or something substantial?
I really can’t say because the music game is so fickle. You know, here today gone tomorrow. So it changes. I just feel like if you work hard and put 100% into everything you do, you’re going to be alright.
Who do you look up to besides your label mentors?
Queen Latifah. Her career is amazing. She went from rapping to acting. She’s doing big things right now. Can’t get no bigger, so I really look up to her. And she’s a female doing it.
Who are you hoping to impact with your style?
Everybody—the whole world. Maybe do a clothing line or something later on down the line. I see myself getting into acting in a few years and a whole bunch of other things. My dream role would be something dramatic with suspense.
What clothing lines are you feeling right now?
I like Rocawear as far as urban wear. As far as designers, I like Cavalli, Chloe, Stella McCartney. She got some hot pieces.
What’s a place you’d love to visit that you haven’t yet?
Hawaii, The Bahamas, I’m excited to go there. I recently went to Miami. I love Miami. We just all love Miami. That’s my favorite place to go to. We just spend a lot of time on the beach. DJ Khaled has always been a fan and always supported me since day one, so we get a lot of love out there. Shout out to him.
What would you advise today’s aspiring musicians?
Stay focused. Stay grounded. Whatever you do, if you keep God first, believe that you can do it and put your mind to it, nothing is impossible. Who hasn’t had obstacles? I go through them everyday. You just gotta be strong.